World first for Hayden Paddon: EV rally car debuts on gravel

Hayden Paddon says the Hyundai Kona EV's instant performance and low center of gravity


Hayden Paddon says the Hyundai Kona EV’s instant power and low center of gravity were “incredible”.

In a world first, the electrically powered rally car from Paddon Rallysport, the Hyundai Kona EV, will be used this weekend at the Waimate 50 PS Hillclimb on gravel.

Based on private testing, the car has the potential to go from zero to 60 in three seconds, faster than any Australian V8 supercar.

In the driver’s seat is Hayden Paddon, a former World Rally Championship participant and New Zealand’s most successful rally driver.

Paddon rallying

See the development and testing of Hayden Paddon’s all-electric Hyundai Kona rally car and watch to the end for a taste of the sound …

This year’s event will be shifted from asphalt to gravel, giving the EV rally car designed for gravel the chance to compete.

* Paddon’s Charged Rally EV debuts
* Spotted Haydon Paddon at Waimate 50. the first rally world championship title
* Hyundai and Hayden Paddon unveil all-electric rally machine

Looking ahead to the weekend, Paddon said the history of rallying at Waimate is a great place for Hyundai and its team to finally show its evolution.

“We all see this event as a major milestone to finally bring the car out after almost two years of work.”

A prototype for the mechanical sound device for electric cars, a project that took 18 months to build, will also be on display.

Hyundai Kona Electric by Hayden Paddon.

Paddon rallying

Hyundai Kona Electric by Hayden Paddon.

Paddon said, “At the same time as everyone else is hearing, we will hear it for the first time.”

Although 3000 spectators missed this year’s event due to Covid-19 event restrictions, teams from across the country have signed up for the event.

Some of New Zealand’s best hill climb races will also take part in the event, including three hot young talents; Ari Pettigrew, Jackson Clendon and Tim Smith.

New Zealand Open Two-Wheeler Champion Pettigrew said he was looking forward to the atmosphere of the event and how the EV will hold up against the rest of the group.

Pettigrew is also one of only two people in the world to drive the EV rally car, and said the vehicle’s power “will surprise people”.

At the start of the event on Friday, 30 riders took on the first asphalt hill run before switching to gravel for the remainder of the weekend.

On Saturday there will be 50 drivers, many of whom are at the forefront of rallying in New Zealand.

After six qualifying runs over two days, the 15 best cars will compete against each other on Sunday afternoon.

Based on these results, an overall winner will be determined and individual class prizes will be awarded.

The classes of the event are, Unlimited 4WD, Rally Spec 4WD, Unlimited 2WD, Under 2L 2WD, Crosscar and Quads.

New records are set for all participating drivers, which significantly increases the intensity of the event.

The famous course has been expanded to include an additional water hazard, a rolling start and a shifted finish line.

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